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Using remote sensing to assess impacts of land management policies in the Ordos rangelands in China

Wu, Weicheng and De Pauw, Eddy and Zucca, Claudio (2013) Using remote sensing to assess impacts of land management policies in the Ordos rangelands in China. International Journal of Digital Earth, Vol. 6 (Suppl. 2), p. 81-102. ISSN 1753-8947. eISSN 1753-8955. Article.

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DOI: 10.1080/17538947.2013.825656


Implementation of land management policies influences land use and hence causes environmental change. Taking the Ordos rangelands in China as a case study, this paper explores the potential of remote sensing to assess in dryland areas the impacts of policies on the environment. Thirteen Landsat images of the period 1978–2010 were acquired and those corresponding to the starting dates of implementation of different policies were selected for land-cover change analysis; others were used to check the detected change and track the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) trajectory matched with time series of meteorological data for calibration of natural response of rangelands to rainfall. The results indicate that policy impacts are complex and include both positive and negative aspects depending on the locality in space. On one hand, policies have aroused the enthusiasm of people in agricultural production and sand-control leading to the recovery of about 2618 km2 of desertified rangeland and sandy land, and economic growth, on the other hand, provoked vegetation degradation with an accumulated area of 2439 km2 when policies cannot reconcile the conflict between environmental protection and the interest of rural people. However, degradation is not absolute and can be mitigated by the implementation of rational policies.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:10062
Uncontrolled Keywords:Land use/cover change, multi-temporal remote sensing, human intervention, spatial variability, NDVI trajectory
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/14 Pedologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Agraria
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Additional Information:Special Issue: "Geospatial Information for Digital Earth".
Deposited On:02 Sep 2014 14:53

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